So you’re deciding to join the military? Congratulations, serving in any of the five components of our armed forces is a great honor. Besides the inherent risk within the military, there is also something that should be considered: Job Transferability. Luckily, with the size and scope of the military there are many jobs that exist in both the military and the civilian sector.
As with deciding a college major and job opportunities, one should consider life after the military when choosing your military occupation. Additionally, this is one of the best times in our great country to be a veteran, with close to 40,000 nonprofits supporting veterans and their families and companies large and small using ‘veteran hiring initiatives’ to ease the transition from military to civilian jobs and recruit top talent.
Although it is not easy to transition from military to civilian jobs, there are certainly some military occupations that make this mission easier. Taking into consideration potential risks, job stresses, median pay, transferability, additional certification requirements, and competitiveness, here is a list of the best military jobs that transfer to civilian life:
Although not a direct transition, unless you plan on a career in security or defense contract work, infantry soldiers embody the ideals of the military: Integrity, attention to detail, grit, teamwork, and handling yourself under pressure. Infantrymen have leadership experience that make them ideal candidates for management positions in a wide range of industries from customer service to sales but it is essential to focus on the highly desired soft skills over many of the direct job tasks.
#9. Military Firefighter
Similar to the civilian world, military firefighters protect lives and properties against fire. This simple fact makes the transition an easy one from the military realm into the civilian sector. Although the pay range depends on location, the average income for a firefighter in the United States is around $45,000.
#8. Military Police
MP’s have a couple civilian options that align with the responsibilities and training from the military. As you transition from the military to the civilian sector, police officers, local sheriff’s departments, and the FBI are all possible job options depending on your performance and interests. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average police officer salary in the US is around $58,000.
#7. Military Truck Driver
A highly transferable job that will ease the transition from military to civilian jobs is a military truck driver. Most of the top trucking companies have ongoing hiring initiatives for veterans and many offer signing bonuses. Although the pay for truck drivers ranges based upon transport load, frequency and length of trips, experienced drivers can make upwards of $100,000 although the average is closer to $65,000.
#6. Intelligence Analyst
The military has multitudes of intelligence analysts ranging from geospatial and signal intelligence, to more general analysts careers. Many of the defense contractors and government agencies recruit from the armed forces. This makes the intelligence analyst career one of the best military jobs that transfer to civilian life, although number of deployments is a big factor on your experience and employment options. Experience is a big factor in pay ranges, but the median salary for an intelligence analyst starts around $67,000.
#5. Logistics analyst
There are a number of military careers specializing in transportation, supply, and logistics. One of the key elements of a successful military is the successful execution of planning and transporting materials, equipment, and personnel to the proper location at the proper time. Experienced logistic officers or logistic analysts have multitudes of fields to choose from in civilian operations departments. Due to the demand, the average salary is close to $91,000 and the work scope is much wider than many other military jobs.
Due to movies like Top Gun, pilots are often regarded as one of the more exciting jobs in the military. There are actually dozens of different piloting careers and they transition very well into the civilian world. Surprisingly, airline pilots don’t make a lot starting out, but as you progress your salary increases immensely. One must convert the military flight certifications into FAA certifications, but considering many airline pilots are veterans this is quite accomplishable. Salaries increase upwards of $130,000 with 3-5 years of experience.
#3. Military Dentist
Similar to the civilian sector, the military has a number of different occupation specialties in the dental field. The military offers extensive training, similar to the careers in the military medical field. Many of the military dental jobs have an accompanying sign-up bonus and have a trajectory of prosperous civilian job opportunities. The average dental hygienist makes around $74,000 and median salary for a dentist in 2017 was around $150,000.
#2. Military Physician
When looking at military to civilian jobs, choosing the health field is one of the best. Medical school is quite expensive and although you commit to a number of years in the military, uncertain living destinations, and possible deployments, being debt free with a medical degree is quite the benefit. Military doctors are highly regarded for their experience and poise. This career includes good pay, a solid healthcare demand in America, and also some potential for bonuses. Once you exit the military and enter the civilian world the average pay is around $189,000, which makes the medical field inside the military quite the favorable career choice.
#1. IT officer/analyst
Inside the military there is a wide array of information technology careers ranging from electronic warfare, information technology specialist, radio and communications repair, and cyber operations. With the technological developments taking place across the globe, military professionals have an exciting array of opportunities both in the civilian sector and the defense industry. Depending on your specialty, there are many career options with salaries well over $100,000 and these are developing fields with increasing global demand. The growing demand and diverse job opportunities make military IT personnel the best military job that transfers to civilian life in 2019.
There are many career choices that will make the transition from military to civilian jobs easier. It is important to not only consider what you want to do in the military, but where that job can take you once you enter the civilian workforce. It is also recommended your resume reflects civilian terminology and many of the soft skills your military career fostered. Joining the military is a big decision, but it’s an honorable profession that provides skills and expertise for years to come.